Olivier Giroud put in a distinctly underwhelming performance in Arsenal's 1-0 win over Tottenham at White Hart Lane on Sunday.
He failed to make any real impact as the Gunners claimed a victory over their fierce rivals to move within four points of the top of the table and with a game in hand on leaders Chelsea.
Arsenal were a touch fortunate to claim the victory. After a Tomas Rosicky thunderbolt put the away side ahead in just the second minute, it was Spurs who had the better chances of the game.
01:12 - Tomas Rosicky's goal is the fastest ever scored by Arsenal against Tottenham in the Premier League. Rapid.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) March 16, 2014
Speaking before the game, Spurs boss Tim Sherwood said, per BBC Sport: "It is my first time as a manager at the Lane, to be standing opposite Arsene Wenger, and hopefully I will get one over on them."
Despite a strong performance from Spurs, he was not granted his wish.
But Giroud was left isolated up front for much of the 90 minutes, meaning he could not make a considerable impact on proceedings.
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When he did get the ball at his feet he often had no options and was increasingly hustled off the ball by the Tottenham defenders.
Having scored four goals in his last four appearances for Arsenal, Giroud came into this north London derby in good form. But he was not on good form in this match, unable to produce the moments of magic that he has done on other occasions this season.
The result will be hugely gratifying to Arsene Wenger, his side having been knocked out of the Champions League to Bayern Munich earlier in the week.
However, he will hope that his first-choice striker can improve upon his display against Tottenham, as Giroud will be key if Arsenal are going to make a genuine run for the title.
He was too easily marked at White Hart Lane, rarely finding space for himself in which he could have created some opportunities.
Indeed, the Daily Telegraph's Paul Hayward was none too impressed with the Frenchman's performance:
Giroud has been a passenger in this game. Has lost just about every 50-50 ball and looks weighed down. Big problem area for Arsenal.— Paul Hayward (@_PaulHayward) March 16, 2014
Meanwhile, FutbolBible gave him a scathing assessment:
Giroud's performance: 1/10.— FutbolBible (@FutbolBible) March 16, 2014
Unusually for Arsenal, they were outplayed in possession terms against Spurs, only having 41 percent of the ball. Their local rivals also came out on top in many other areas:
Spurs-Arsenal FT stats: Score 0-1. Passes completed 361-235. Crosses 34-5. Interceptions 10-31. Chances created 10-5. Clearances 13-66.— Squawka Football (@Squawka) March 16, 2014
But the only stat that really matters is the score, and in that department Arsenal were superior. That much is not debatable.
Being genuine title challengers and favourites for the FA Cup, Arsenal need a top striker. They can't expect to find consistent success without reliable contributions in that regard.
They have that in Giroud, but he will have to improve drastically from Sunday to make an impact on the rest of the season.